A truly magnificent fruit scone served with butter and jam in the Apples for Jam tearoom in Melrose. With a scone so fresh and delicious, the accompanying condiments seemed superfluous.
Three years ago I tried growing courgettes for the first time. I bought a packet of seeds, put two seeds in the ground, and two plants grew up which produced about 80 courgettes between them. I was amazed by the success and keen to try again the following year. Unfortunately, on my second attempt slugs ate the plants before they could bear fruit, and the same thing happened the year after.
This year, hopeful of beating the slugs, I tried planting a couple of seeds in pots instead. Only one of them came up, but it began growing into a healthy-looking plant. By the time it was big enough to start fruiting, I transplanted it into a space next to where some lettuces had been growing well with no sign of slug damage.
There are now several courgettes growing happily on the plant and today I harvested my first one of the season. It formed part of a vegetable pasta dish which, if I’d thought of it soon enough, I’d have photographed to add to this post.
This is Alexander, the white peacock resident at Scone Palace in Perthshire. There have been peacocks at Scone Palace for more than 200 years, but white ones are a relatively new addition. The white colour results from a genetic condition called leucism, which causes a loss of pigmentation in the feathers. Unlike albinos that have red or pink eyes, animals with leucism retain colour in their eyes.
I suppose it’s a bit tiresome for farmers having to hold up the traffic to move their beasts, but I like it when cars come to a standstill for cows in the road.
The village of Crail in the East Neuk of Fife contains a small but busy harbour. Fishing has always been an important part of life in this little place, but these days tourism is a bigger contributor to the local economy. Crail has many self-catering and other accommodation options for visitors, and a delightful little cafe near the harbour (called, appropriately enough, the Harbour Gallery and Tearoom).
Shown below is the elaborate and beautifully carved stone archway into the small and secluded burial chapel of the Maxwell family at Monreith, Wigtownshire. The last Maxwell to be buried here was Sir Herbert Maxwell, grandfather of the writer and naturalist, Gavin Maxwell (best known for his book ‘Ring of bright water’). There are some interesting old gravestones in the graveyard surrounding the chapel and the whole place has a pleasantly peaceful feel to it.
This picture was taken on the pebbly eastern bank of Loch Tay, at Kenmore in Perthshire. There were quite a few ducks splashing about in the water, and a more sedentary lot lined up on the shore, dozing peacefully in the sunshine.